8th – 9th April 2022, conference presentation at ESIDRP 2022: English Studies at the Interface of Disciplines: Research and Practice, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, North Macedonia

The ROGER and CODHUS team members were present at the third “English Studies at the Interface of Disciplines: Research and Practice” (ESIDRP) International Conference, organised online by the Department of English Language and Literature from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, North Macedonia. Alexandru Oravițan, Mădălina Chitez and Roxana Rogobete delivered the paper titled Assessing the readability of English L2 undergraduate literary analyses. A contrastive corpus-based approach.

Abstract: In Romania, the issue of readability in conjunction with student writing has gone largely unexplored. As increasing attention is being paid to developing frameworks for analysing academic writing genres in the entire Central and Eastern European area, quantitative and qualitative studies that address the multifaceted nature of student writing are much needed. In this present endeavour, 208 Romanian L1 and 160 English L2 literary analyses from the bilingual Corpus of Romanian Academic Genres (ROGER) were processed with a variety of software to obtain individual readability scores using established formulas. An aggregate of this data was used to map out a contrastive perspective on the readability of these texts. Specifically, the texts written in English L2 display a satisfactory linguistic level typical of a “quality” or “standard” readability score, which shows that students activate the same type of vocabulary classes in both languages. This might be interpreted in two ways: (a) either students of the same study level use similarly complex vocabulary because their general linguistic skills manifest similarly in L1 and L2, or (b) students engage in similar writing practice irrespective of the language in which they write. This study treads new ground in building a framework for assessing student writing from the perspective of readability. While classic readability formulas may clearly yield valuable results in the case of short pieces, it remains to be seen if these trends are also present in longer pieces and whether they are compatible with newer NLP-driven tools.

Keywords: readability, student writing, literary analysis, corpus, academic writing.

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More information about the conference here.